Eto'o needs a 'miracle' to face Croatia

The Cameroon striker says a persistent knee problem means it is now unlikely he will be available for his side's key World Cup Group A clash with Croatia on Wednesday.
Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o believes that he needs a "miracle" to face Croatia on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old played in Cameroon's opening 1-0 World Cup Group A defeat to Mexico on Friday, but has failed to take any part in training since that game.

And after saying a knee problem flared up as early as the ninth minute of that game, the former Barcelona striker is hoping for some divine intervention.

MORE: Ghana vs. USA photos | | Brazil protests | Soccer fanatics | Fan tattoos

"I am hoping the gods grant me a miracle and that I am able to defend my dear, beautiful country," Eto'o told Cameroon Radio-Television CRTV. "If this is not the case, I will always play my role as captain and especially as the big brother to push my young teammates to victory."

Eto'o may miss the rest of the group stage after revealing the injury had bothered him for a long time.

"For three and a half months, I have not had the time to recover. You could see that even in the buildup to the World Cup I hadn't had a lot of practice until the friendly against Germany."

After its loss to Mexico, Cameroon heads into Wednesday’s clash against Croatia seeking to keep its qualification hopes alive, before it takes on tournament host Brazil in its final Group A match Monday.

Cameroon coach Finke had already confirmed Eto'o failed to train over the weekend and his absence means Vincent Aboubakar or Fabrice Olinga is likely to be called upon in Manaus.